United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 2002 HQ Rulings > HQ 963598 - HQ 963972 > HQ 963632

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
HQ 963632

September 24, 2002

CLA-2:RR:CR:TE 963632 JFS


TARIFF NO.: 6116.10.6500

Mr. Jaime G. Flores
Customs Broker
4311 Pan American Blvd.
Laredo, Texas 78045

RE: Request for Reconsideration of NY D81931, Dated September 25, 1998; Rubber Coated Knit Gloves; Heading 6116, HTSUSA.

Dear Mr. Flores:

On September 25, 1998, New York Ruling Letter (NY) D81931, was issued to International Trade and Commerce, Inc., on behalf of your client, Nimex Saltillo, SA de CV. The ruling was issued in response to a request for a binding ruling on (1) qualifying for favorable tariff treatment under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), (2) a country of origin determination, and (3) the tariff classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule Annotated (HTSUSA), of rubber coated knit gloves. In your request for reconsideration, dated January 7, 2000, you state that your client does not dispute the NAFTA eligibility ruling. However, your client does dispute Customs classification of the gloves. Accordingly, this ruling will not reconsider the NAFTA eligibility or country of origin determination that were made in NY D81931. This ruling only addresses the classification of the gloves under the HTSUSA.


You describe the glove under consideration, Style AK22, Green Nitrile-Latex Glove, as follows:

This industrial protective glove is best used with acids, solvents, chemical, detergents, salts, caustics and alcohol. It withstands liquids that mix with water (i.e., acetone and alcohol). It also provides an excellent protection against solvents, oils, greases, acids, caustics and many petroleum products. Applications include farm and garden protection, painting, cleansing and maintenance.

You describe the process used to manufacture the glove, as follows:

The glove mold is submerged in a coagulant mixture. Next it is heated to dry the coagulant and then submerged into a mixture of Nitrile-Latex and other chemicals. Then, the glove is washed to rid the unnecessary chemical substances. The glove is then put through a drying process and submerged in an adhesive mixture. From there, it is assembled with the textile support, which has been previously impregnated with soap. Next, the glove passes through water to get rid of the soap, which facilitated the easy assembly of the textile support. Then, it passes through another washing process to rid the glove of unnecessary products. Finally, the glove goes through a process of vulcanization that lasts approximately four (4) hours. The glove is taken off of the mold and inspected for any defects. Finally, it is sent to the packing department.

You state that the total weight of one pair of these gloves is 118 grams.

In NY D81931, Customs classified the gloves in subheading 6116.10.6500, HTSUSA, which provides for: “Gloves, mittens and mitts, knitted or crocheted: Impregnated, coated or covered with plastics or rubber: Other: Without fourchettes: Other: Other.” The general column one rate of duty is 8.4 percent ad valorem.

You contend that the gloves should be classified in subheading 4015.19.1050, HTSUSA, which provides for: “Articles of apparel and clothing accessories (including gloves, mittens and mitts), for all purposes, of vulcanized rubber other than hard rubber: Gloves, mittens and mitts: Other: Other: Seamless, Other.” The general column one rate of duty is 14 percent ad valorem.


Whether the rubber coated knit gloves are classified as articles of rubber or of textile.


Classification under the HTSUSA is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI’s). GRI 1 provides that the classification of goods shall be determined according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative Section or Chapter Notes. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI may then be applied.

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (EN’s) represent the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level (for the 4 digit headings and the 6 digit subheadings) and facilitate classification under the HTSUSA by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and GRI. The EN’s, although not dispositive or legally binding, provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUSA, and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of these headings.

Note 2(a) to Chapter 40, which covers rubber and rubber articles, states that Chapter 40 does not cover goods of section XI. Note 1(ij) to Section XI, which covers textiles and textile articles, states that the section does not include, among other things, knit fabrics coated or covered with rubber, or articles thereof, of Chapter 40, HTSUSA. The General EN to Chapter 40 state that the classification of rubber and textile combinations is essentially governed by Note 1(ij) to Section XI and Note 4 to Chapter 59, HTSUSA. Thus, proper classification of the subject gloves rests on whether they are "of rubber" within Chapter 40, HTSUSA, or "of textile" within Chapter 59, HTSUSA. See Headquarters Ruling Letter (HQ) 965139, dated July 2, 2002.

Note 4 to Chapter 59, HTSUSA, states that for the purposes of heading 5906, HTSUSA, which covers rubberized textile fabrics, the expression "rubberized textile fabrics" means:

(a) Textile fabrics impregnated, coated, covered or laminated with rubber:

(i) Weighing not more than 1,500 g/m²; or

(ii) Weighing more than 1,500 g/m² and containing more than 50 percent by weight of textile material;

(b) Fabrics made from yarn, strip or the like, impregnated, coated, covered or sheathed with rubber, of heading 5604; and

(c) Fabrics composed of parallel textile yarns agglomerated with rubber, irrespective of their weight per square meter.

The instant gloves are composed of a textile fabric that is coated and covered with rubber. The rubber coated fabric weighs less than 1,500 g/m². Accordingly, the material meets the definition of rubberized textile fabrics that are classified in heading 5906, HTSUSA. Regarding the scope of heading 5906, HTSUSA, Note 4 to Chapter 59 also explains that:

[t]his heading does not, however, apply to plates, sheets or strip of cellular rubber, combined with textile fabric, where the textile fabric is present merely for reinforcing purposes (chapter 40), or textile products of heading 5811.

The instant gloves are not manufactured from cellular rubber. Therefore, analysis as to whether the textile fabric is present merely for reinforcing purposes is not necessary. However, Customs has consistently found that the textile material in similar gloves, i.e., knit fabric gloves coated with plastics, is present for purposes other than mere reinforcement.

The determination as to whether cellular plastic coated textile fabrics are classified in Chapter 39 or in Section XI, hinges on whether the textile material is “present merely for reinforcing purposes.” See Note 4 to Chapter 59, HTSUSA. Unlike non-cellular rubber coated textiles, there is no weight determination for plastic coated textiles. See HQ 955193, dated April 19, 1994; and HQ 953768, dated July 23, 1993. See also HQ 089847, dated December 3, 1991 (finding that rubber coated and plastic coated work gloves are classified in heading 6116, HTSUSA).

You argue that an essential character analysis under GRI 3(b) should be used to determine whether the gloves are of rubber or of textile. In support of this argument, you rely upon the EN to heading 4015, HTSUSA, which state that:

This heading covers articles of apparel and clothing accessories (including gloves, mittens and mitts), e.g., protective gloves and clothing for surgeons, radiologists, divers, etc., whether assembled by means of an adhesive or by sewing or otherwise obtained. These goods may be:

(1) Wholly of rubber.

(2) Of woven, knitted or crocheted fabrics, felt or nonwovens, impregnated, coated, covered or laminated with rubber, other than those falling in Section XI (see Note 3 to Chapter 56 and Note 4 to Chapter 59).

(3) Of rubber, with parts of textile fabric, when the rubber is the constituent giving the goods their essential character.

. . .
(Emphasis in original). As discussed above, the instant gloves are, pursuant to Note 4 to Chapter 59, made from knitted fabric coated or covered with rubber. The gloves are classified by application of GRI 1 and application of the remaining GRI’s is not necessary. Thus, an essential character analysis is precluded.

The gloves are composed of rubberized textile fabric that would be classified in heading 5906, and excluded from Chapter 40 by Note 1(ij) to Section XI. Accordingly the gloves are classified in subheading 6116.10.6500, HTSUSA, as knit gloves coated with rubber.


NY D81931 is affirmed. The instant rubber coated knit gloves, style AK22, are classified in subheading 6116.10.6500, HTSUSA, which provides for: “Gloves, mittens and mitts, knitted or crocheted: Impregnated, coated or covered with plastics or rubber: Other: Without fourchettes: Other: Other.” The general column one rate of duty is 8.4 percent ad valorem.


Myles B. Harmon, Acting Director
Commercial Rulings Division

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: